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Dirk Wessels

Partner | Johannesburg

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Contact

T: +27 11 669 9318

Overview

Dirk works alongside his clients to build and grow their businesses. They value him for his easy-going nature and ability to ‘get the deal done’, even in highly regulated and complex environments.

Dirk delivers commercially focused and seamless solutions to his clients both in South Africa and across the African continent. His knowledge of the different local legal structures and dynamics, coupled with his broader international and industry experience helps his clients understand the nuances of their transactions and manage their risks.

He has 20 years’ experience, specialising in M&A, corporate restructurings and general corporate law with extensive experience in the tech, infrastructure and oil and gas industries.

Dirk is particularly involved in the corporate aspects of the downstream energy and logistics space providing support to key commodity and oil traders. Here he plays a pivotal role in supporting his clients across their entire value chains and operations.

Dirk also works with many clients in the technology and fintech sectors where he regularly provides advice on niche investment arrangements and acts for start-ups, technology-enabled payment solutions providers and other tech companies. This experience includes supporting them with necessary infrastructure development across Africa.

Professional membership

Dirk is:

  • an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa; and
  • a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

Experience

Jurisdictions worked in: South Africa, multiple African countries, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Dirk has advised:

  • Digital Realty in relation to its indirect purchase of shares in Teraco Data Environments, Africa’s largest carrier-neutral data centre and interconnection services provider at a valuation of USD3.5 billion.
  • Network International in its announced acquisition of the DPO Group, an Africa-focused online commerce platform, in a transaction worth approximately USD 288 million.
  • Absa Bank Limited in relation to the formation of the African Rainbow Energy Fund Partnership, a private-equity renewable-energy-investment-fund in partnership with African Rainbow Energy and Power Proprietary Limited (AREP). As part of the fund formation: (i) Absa will commit to the Partnership, an amount equal to ZAR500 million; (ii) AREP will commit to the Partnership a number of project company SPV’s; and (iii) the Partnership then acquired a number of Absa’s renewable projects financed under its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).
  • Afrisam (South Africa) on the disposal by AfriSam Mauritius Investment Holdings Limited of its entire shareholding in Tanga, constituting 68.33% of the entire issues shares of Tanga, to Scancem International DA. Tanga is listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.
  • ETG Group Limited as seller in relation to the partial share acquisition by Mitsui & Co. in a transaction valued at approximately USD 265 million.
  • Doxim Inc, a Canadian-founded communications and engagement technology provider, in relation to its acquisition of certain assets and intellectual property from the Striata Group of companies, a customer communication and document security specialist.
  • Petregaz Holdings Pte. Limited, a Singapore-based international liquified petroleum gas trading and ship-owning company, on various acquisitions in South Africa, including: (i) the acquisition of Quest Petroleum Proprietary Limited and its related entities; (ii) the acquisition of Jubane Petroleum Proprietary Limited and its affiliate entities; and (iii) the investment into Camel Fuels Proprietary Limited.
  • MCA Metals Holding GmbH, a company incorporated in Austria, (MCAM), to act on their behalf in a sale of shares transaction with South32 Investment 1 B.V. (S32), a company registered in the Netherlands, in terms of which MCAM agreed to sell to S32 shares in companies registered in Mozambique.
  • Marriott International in relation to its acquisition of the Protea Hospitality Group across seven African jurisdictions for a deal value of ZAR 2.02 billion. This deal was awarded the M&A Team of the Year award from African Legal Awards.
  • BP plc in relation to its black economic empowerment transaction in terms of which Kapela Investments acquired 20%, and the BPSA Education Foundation acquired 5%, of the entire issued share capital of BP Southern Africa Proprietary Limited.
  • Oger Telecom in the disinvestment of its majority stake in, and the recapitalisation of, Cell-C, the third largest telecoms operator in South Africa.
  • BNP Paribas S.A. in its acquisition of all of the shares in RCS Investment Holdings Limited from JSE listed shareholders, The Foschini Group Limited and The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited.
  • Dirk was also part of the team advising InterXion Holding N.V. on the listing of its shares for trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Allied Irish Banks plc on the disposal of loans worth approximately EUR 24.2 billion to the Irish National Asset Management Agency, Lloyds Banking Group plc on its GBP 21 billion capital raising and Merrill Lynch & Co in respect of its acquisition by Bank of America Corporation.

Awards

  • African Legal Awards: Part of the M&A Team of the Year, for their work done on Marriott International’s acquisition of the Protea Hospitality Group.

AREA OF EXPERTISE

Qualifications

  • Bachelors of Commerce (BCom), University of Stellenbosch.
  • Bachelors of Laws (LLB), University of Stellenbosch.
  • Certificate in Advanced Company Law, the University of the Witwatersrand.

INSIGHTS

Overview

Dirk works alongside his clients to build and grow their businesses. They value him for his easy-going nature and ability to ‘get the deal done’, even in highly regulated and complex environments.

Dirk delivers commercially focused and seamless solutions to his clients both in South Africa and across the African continent. His knowledge of the different local legal structures and dynamics, coupled with his broader international and industry experience helps his clients understand the nuances of their transactions and manage their risks.

He has 20 years’ experience, specialising in M&A, corporate restructurings and general corporate law with extensive experience in the tech, infrastructure and oil and gas industries.

Dirk is particularly involved in the corporate aspects of the downstream energy and logistics space providing support to key commodity and oil traders. Here he plays a pivotal role in supporting his clients across their entire value chains and operations.

Dirk also works with many clients in the technology and fintech sectors where he regularly provides advice on niche investment arrangements and acts for start-ups, technology-enabled payment solutions providers and other tech companies. This experience includes supporting them with necessary infrastructure development across Africa.

Professional membership

Dirk is:

  • an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa; and
  • a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

Experience

Jurisdictions worked in: South Africa, multiple African countries, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Dirk has advised:

  • Digital Realty in relation to its indirect purchase of shares in Teraco Data Environments, Africa’s largest carrier-neutral data centre and interconnection services provider at a valuation of USD3.5 billion.
  • Network International in its announced acquisition of the DPO Group, an Africa-focused online commerce platform, in a transaction worth approximately USD 288 million.
  • Absa Bank Limited in relation to the formation of the African Rainbow Energy Fund Partnership, a private-equity renewable-energy-investment-fund in partnership with African Rainbow Energy and Power Proprietary Limited (AREP). As part of the fund formation: (i) Absa will commit to the Partnership, an amount equal to ZAR500 million; (ii) AREP will commit to the Partnership a number of project company SPV’s; and (iii) the Partnership then acquired a number of Absa’s renewable projects financed under its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).
  • Afrisam (South Africa) on the disposal by AfriSam Mauritius Investment Holdings Limited of its entire shareholding in Tanga, constituting 68.33% of the entire issues shares of Tanga, to Scancem International DA. Tanga is listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.
  • ETG Group Limited as seller in relation to the partial share acquisition by Mitsui & Co. in a transaction valued at approximately USD 265 million.
  • Doxim Inc, a Canadian-founded communications and engagement technology provider, in relation to its acquisition of certain assets and intellectual property from the Striata Group of companies, a customer communication and document security specialist.
  • Petregaz Holdings Pte. Limited, a Singapore-based international liquified petroleum gas trading and ship-owning company, on various acquisitions in South Africa, including: (i) the acquisition of Quest Petroleum Proprietary Limited and its related entities; (ii) the acquisition of Jubane Petroleum Proprietary Limited and its affiliate entities; and (iii) the investment into Camel Fuels Proprietary Limited.
  • MCA Metals Holding GmbH, a company incorporated in Austria, (MCAM), to act on their behalf in a sale of shares transaction with South32 Investment 1 B.V. (S32), a company registered in the Netherlands, in terms of which MCAM agreed to sell to S32 shares in companies registered in Mozambique.
  • Marriott International in relation to its acquisition of the Protea Hospitality Group across seven African jurisdictions for a deal value of ZAR 2.02 billion. This deal was awarded the M&A Team of the Year award from African Legal Awards.
  • BP plc in relation to its black economic empowerment transaction in terms of which Kapela Investments acquired 20%, and the BPSA Education Foundation acquired 5%, of the entire issued share capital of BP Southern Africa Proprietary Limited.
  • Oger Telecom in the disinvestment of its majority stake in, and the recapitalisation of, Cell-C, the third largest telecoms operator in South Africa.
  • BNP Paribas S.A. in its acquisition of all of the shares in RCS Investment Holdings Limited from JSE listed shareholders, The Foschini Group Limited and The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited.
  • Dirk was also part of the team advising InterXion Holding N.V. on the listing of its shares for trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Allied Irish Banks plc on the disposal of loans worth approximately EUR 24.2 billion to the Irish National Asset Management Agency, Lloyds Banking Group plc on its GBP 21 billion capital raising and Merrill Lynch & Co in respect of its acquisition by Bank of America Corporation.

Awards

  • African Legal Awards: Part of the M&A Team of the Year, for their work done on Marriott International’s acquisition of the Protea Hospitality Group.

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